One of the more interesting forms of sports betting is proposition betting, also known as “prop bets”. A prop bet is different from normal wagering as it does not depend on the outcome of a game, whether that be the total score or the winner team. Prop bets tend to be bets on a game inside the game. For instance, a bet on who scores the first points in the NBA Finals or which player commits the first turn-over. Most sports betting sites offer some form of proposition betting; however, the extent of props offered varies from site to site.
There are many different prop bets that can be made during a basketball game. Sites such as Superbook offer odds on outcomes such as Free-throws made, 3-pt shots made, and player-vs-player scoring totals. All of these props will have odds next to them, for example:
Chris Bosh (Raptors) Total Points – Must Start
Over 24 (even)
Under 24 (-130)
The previous bet pays even odds ($100:$100) if a bettor picks Chris Bosh to score more than 24 points. If a bettor believes Bosh will score less than 24 points he/she will have to wager $130 to win $100. The typical minimum wager on prop bets is $5. The players chosen for these props are typically well-known and starters. In order for the bet to be official the player involved must start in the game.
Players can find some interesting bets, for instance, bettors can wager on whether or not Ray Allen will miss a Free-Throw in his next game (he must attempt at least 1 otherwise the bet is a push). Other interesting props include betting on the total number of points, rebounds, and assists certain players will accumulate in a game. For example:
Richard Jefferson (Bucks) Total Points+Rebounds+Assists – Must Start
Over 29.5 (-105)
Under 29.5 (-125)
Besides these single-player prop bets one can find wagers to make on teams statistics as well. For instance, bettors can wager on the first team to score in a game:
(ATL vs. TOR) (7:05pm EST) Team to score first in the game
Atlanta Hawks (-115)
Toronto Raptors (-115)
Therefore if a player bet $115 on the Raptors to score first (and they did) he/she takes home $100 of profit for their bet. These types of bets are a virtual toss-up and with the extra juice it becomes extremely difficult to make money long-term on these wagers, so make sure you know what you are doing! Players can also wager on which team will be the first to score 10 or 20 points in the game
Finally, team prop bets can allow for more in-depth betting on a certain game. Bettors can wager on which team will be leading at the half AND which team will win the game. In a sense this is like a parlay, with better pay out odds for a correct play. Here's an example:
Which team will be leading at half time and which team will win? Game must go 43 minutes for action (OT counts)
ATL/ATL -- 7/5
Tie/ATL -- 18/1
TOR/ATL -- 5/1
ATL/TOR -- 5/1
Tie/TOR -- 18/1
TOR/TOR -- 17/10
For those unfamiliar with fractional pay outs, the number on the left represents the amount in $ you win if you wager the number on the right. In the first line (ATL/ATL 7/5) if a bettor wagers $5 and Atlanta leads at the half and goes on to win he/she wins $7. On a tie the pay outs go way up, with $18 paid out for every $1 wagered.
One thing players might notice is that there is extra juice on proposition betting. While most wagers are offered with (-110) juice it seems prop betting charges the bettor slightly more, which means a player must pick with a higher certainty in order to win the same amount of money long term. Prop bets can be a lot of fun, just make sure to always have reasoning behind your bets.
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